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Fitting decoders in N gauge steam locos

Posted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 10:00 pm
by dursleydog
Hi all,

Considering buying a Dapol Hall in n for my layout and it comes DCC ready (6 pin decoder). I’ve fitted decoders in 00 with absolutely zero fuss but I wanted to find out if N is different and what I need to look out for. For example, how do I know what decoder will fit? Also, how fiddly are they to fit in n and where in the loco do they go? (Guessing tender in this case)

Thanks in advance!

Re: Fitting decoders in N gauge steam locos

Posted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 10:18 pm
by Paul-H
Hi

It should be as easy as remove remove the tender body, it just pulls off, then replace blanking plug with small 6 pin decoder.

Dapol used to recomend the Gaugemaster DCC23 decoder.

But then we have a problem, at some point Dapol changed the design of the decoder PCB which means that even if you use the tiny DCC23 the tender body will not fit back on it's chassis, so if you have one of the newer models with the redesigned PCB, which Dapol deny exists you either have to use a realy small decoder like the Zimo MX616 or remove the PCB and hard wire a decoder.

Hopefully it will be one of the older models that just take the DCC23.

Paul

Re: Fitting decoders in N gauge steam locos

Posted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 10:56 pm
by dursleydog
Paul-H wrote:Hi

It should be as easy as remove remove the tender body, it just pulls off, then replace blanking plug with small 6 pin decoder.

Dapol used to recomend the Gaugemaster DCC23 decoder.

But then we have a problem, at some point Dapol changed the design of the decoder PCB which means that even if you use the tiny DCC23 the tender body will not fit back on it's chassis, so if you have one of the newer models with the redesigned PCB, which Dapol deny exists you either have to use a realy small decoder like the Zimo MX616 or remove the PCB and hard wire a decoder.

Hopefully it will be one of the older models that just take the DCC23.

Paul


Argh that’s what I was worried about. The model in question is Pendeford Hall if that’s of any help.
Definitely not up to hard wiring anything so may get the Zimo to be safe. Thanks for the advice!

Re: Fitting decoders in N gauge steam locos

Posted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:51 pm
by Bigmet
dursleydog wrote:...Argh that’s what I was worried about. The model in question is Pendeford Hall if that’s of any help.
Definitely not up to hard wiring anything so may get the Zimo to be safe...

When you are buying, you are a customer. Find a retailer keen enough to have you as a customer, and able to do the work that is required to identify the decoder(s) best suiting the loco. It should be a no-brainer, there's a sale there as well...

Re: Fitting decoders in N gauge steam locos

Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:32 am
by BromsMods
Try the link from https://clarahost.clara.net/www.bromsgr ... tm#dapolst to see if this helps.

Re: Fitting decoders in N gauge steam locos

Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:30 am
by abenn
I've used Lenz silver mini decoders in all my N-gauge dcc-ready locos, including a Dapol Castle and Grange. All of them were as easy as Paul-H has said. My only issue was with my Dapol 0-6-0 tank where the decoder is slightly visible in the cab. I painted the visible bits matt black so they're not obvious.

Re: Fitting decoders in N gauge steam locos

Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:49 pm
by Paul-H
The only issue is with the Tender models were at some point they changed the design of the PCB although Dapol actually deny there has been a change

The difference is quite easy to check once the tender has been lifted off

If you have the PCB were the socket is level with the bottom of the PCB you will have no issues fitting most small square (Ish) decoders

If you have the PCB with visible solder pads at each end of the PCB you will have issues with the usual decoders hitting the top of the tender when you try to re fit it.

My 9F also had one of those PCB's fitted and had to have a Zimo MX616, which is tiny fitted. Although everything has all been stripped out now as sound has been fitted.

Like I said Dapol refuse to accept they have changed the design but do oddly tel the customers that have issues to take a Dremel to the roof of the tender to make room, Typical Dapol!

Paul